In Today’s Paper: Fashion And Its Miscontents

It’s Fashion Wake! From Women’s Wear Daily to Cathy Horyn, the critics of fashion have for some time now found themselves unwilling to get in the slightest bit worked up. And all the rah-rah happy-club everything-is-pretty baloney surrounding the shows ill-serves the designers. Isn’t there a point, after all, to the dialogue between critics and artists and consumers?

The Transom had a lovely chat yesterday with John Fairchild, the 78-year-old former publisher of WWD. (He has more to say in the story.) He was at The Ritz in Paris. (“I’m retired. I’m taking it easy,” he said, by explanation of his whereabouts. Awesome.) Given the stentorian past of the publication, it was surprising to hear him say that perhaps the fashion press should just become, essentially, magalogs.

“I think the ideal situation,” Mr. Fairchild said, “is that the consumer should see as many beautiful pictures of the clothes that the press can print, and then they can buy them. They don’t read all the blah blah! The only people who read the reviews are the designers and the people who write the reviews. You think some lady, who’s about to spend eight thousand dollars, who’s about to buy the dress, will read the reviews?”

Hmm. We suppose she wouldn’t.

After New York’s fashion week belches to completion on Friday, well, it’s off to London on September 18th, then Milan on September 24th, and Paris on October 2nd. Sheesh!

“You’ve gotta remember,” Mr. Fairchild said, “that, until the Europeans show, what you’re seeing now could change quickly. What you’re seeing on the runway may never appear. It might never appear on the scene. I mean, it could! But the thing is, I always remember—who knows what’s going to sell? Who knows? No one knows! It’s the lady who buys the clothes. She is the ultimate. The rest is blah blah!”

— Choire Sicha In Today’s Paper: Fashion And Its Miscontents